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I Do? Towards an (Alternative) Alternative Sexual Politics
Unformatted Document Text:  24 Gay marriage politics in its current political manifestation obfuscates the distributive allocations packed into statutory marriage, allocations that perpetuate sexual misrecognition and marginalization of the unmarried, the queer, and the poor. The queer critique in its current political manifestation risks defending queer folks over the structurally disadvantaged, and risks keeping maldistribution and misrecognition conceptually distinct, when the former fuels much of the latter in the case of marriage. The strong intersectional argument, circumscribed to the question of redistribution and recognition, efficaciously targets these marriage troubles. Insofar as the distributive benefits of marriage provide some, and not others, with the economic provisions to protect and cultivate the body and mind, to secure time for pleasure and play, those benefits should be democratized and uncoupled from matrimony. IIIb. Marriage as a Moral and Political Club Regarding the 1996 Clinton welfare reforms, Fineman writes, The Welfare Reform provisions would force young unmarried mothers to reside with their parents or to marry the child’s biological father or another man willing to adopt the child, and would require women to establish the paternity of their child before they could receive any funds. In addition, the language of the act specified that the work programs are being implemented ‘to reduce the amount of time that families are on welfare’ and that ‘states must drop families from the program after they have received a total of five years of AFDC benefits. (238, quoting the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act) Anna Marie Smith’s “The Politicization of Marriage in Contemporary American Public Policy: The Defense of Marriage Act and the Personal Responsibility Act,” also brings, as the title suggests, the shared continuities of both unjust policies into sharper focus. As for PRA, “where welfare was established in the New Deal era … as a network of entitlements that greatly enhanced Americans’ citizenship rights, it has now become a series of severely disciplinary controls.” (Smith, 310) PRA shifted the social supports of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children over to Temporary Assistant for Needy Families, which in addition to enforcing stricter eligibility requirements, also explicitly supervises and restricts the sexual lives of the recipients. Smith too, like Fineman, observes that unmarried mothers on welfare are forced to live at home and to receive a high school diploma, neither of which are incumbent upon the married. States may also

Authors: Fischel, Joseph.
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24
Gay marriage politics in its current political manifestation obfuscates the
distributive allocations packed into statutory marriage, allocations that perpetuate sexual
misrecognition and marginalization of the unmarried, the queer, and the poor. The queer
critique in its current political manifestation risks defending queer folks over the
structurally disadvantaged, and risks keeping maldistribution and misrecognition
conceptually distinct, when the former fuels much of the latter in the case of marriage.
The strong intersectional argument, circumscribed to the question of redistribution and
recognition, efficaciously targets these marriage troubles. Insofar as the distributive
benefits of marriage provide some, and not others, with the economic provisions to
protect and cultivate the body and mind, to secure time for pleasure and play, those
benefits should be democratized and uncoupled from matrimony.
IIIb. Marriage as a Moral and Political Club
Regarding the 1996 Clinton welfare reforms, Fineman writes,
The Welfare Reform provisions would force young unmarried mothers to
reside with their parents or to marry the child’s biological father or another man
willing to adopt the child, and would require women to establish the paternity of
their child before they could receive any funds. In addition, the language of the
act specified that the work programs are being implemented ‘to reduce the
amount of time that families are on welfare’ and that ‘states must drop families
from the program after they have received a total of five years of AFDC benefits.
(238, quoting the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity
Reconciliation Act)
Anna Marie Smith’s “The Politicization of Marriage in Contemporary American
Public Policy: The Defense of Marriage Act and the Personal Responsibility Act,” also
brings, as the title suggests, the shared continuities of both unjust policies into sharper
focus. As for PRA, “where welfare was established in the New Deal era … as a network
of entitlements that greatly enhanced Americans’ citizenship rights, it has now become a
series of severely disciplinary controls.” (Smith, 310) PRA shifted the social supports of
the Aid to Families with Dependent Children over to Temporary Assistant for Needy
Families, which in addition to enforcing stricter eligibility requirements, also explicitly
supervises and restricts the sexual lives of the recipients. Smith too, like Fineman,
observes that unmarried mothers on welfare are forced to live at home and to receive a
high school diploma, neither of which are incumbent upon the married. States may also


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